American Robin – Nest | Song | Facts | Habitat | Eggs | Diet | Call

American Robin

The American robin, scientific name Turdus migratorius is a migratory songbird of the true thrush genus and Turdidae, the broader thrush family. In this article, I am going to talk about American Robin nest, song, scientific name, facts, habitat, eggs, diet, call, sound, etc.

It is called after the European robin due to its reddish-orange breast, although the 2 species should not carefully be associated, with the European robin belonging to the Old World flycatcher household.

American Robin profile

The American robin is extensively distributed all through North America, wintering from southern Canada to central Mexico and alongside the Pacific Coast. It is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

According to some sources, the American robin ranks behind solely the red-winged blackbird (and simply forward of the launched European starling and the not-always-naturally-occurring home finch) as essentially the most plentiful extant land bird in North America.

It has seven subspecies, however solely certainly one of them, the San Lucas robin (T. m. confinis) of Baja California Sur, is especially distinctive, with pale gray-brown underparts.

The American robin is lively largely throughout the day and assembles in giant flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates (resembling beetle grubs, earthworms, and caterpillars), fruits, and berries.

It is among the earliest bird species to put its eggs, starting to breed shortly after returning to its summer season range from its winter range.

The robin’s nest consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers, and is smeared with mud and infrequently cushioned with grass or different gentle supplies.

It is among the earliest birds to sing at daybreak, and its track consists of a number of discrete items that are repeated.

The grownup robin’s foremost predators are hawks, home cats, and snakes. When feeding in flocks, it may be vigilant, watching different birds for reactions to predators. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) lay their eggs in robin nests (see brood parasite), however, the robins often reject the egg.

Geographic Range

American robins are native to the Nearctic area. They happen year-round in southern Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia, all through many of the United States, and alongside the Sierra Madre into southern Mexico.

They migrate south for the winter, going so far as southern Mexico and Guatemala.

In the summer season they’re discovered as far north as northernmost Canada and Alaska. American robins are essentially the most plentiful and widespread North American thrush.

American Robin Description

The eastern subspecies of the American robin (T. m. migratorius) is 23 to 28 cm (9.1 to 11.0 in) long with a wingspan starting from 31 to 41 cm (12 to 16 in), with comparable size ranges throughout all subspecies.

The species averages about 77 g (2.7 oz) in weight, with males, starting from 72 to 94 g (2.5 to 3.3 oz) and females starting from 59 to 91 g (2.1 to 3.2 oz).

Among normal measurements, the wing chord is 11.5 to 14.5 cm (4.5 to 5.7 in), the culmen is 1.8 to 2.2 cm (0.71 to 0.87 in) and the tarsus is 2.9 to 3.3 cm (1.1 to 1.3 in).

The head varies from jet black to grey, with white eye arcs and white supercilia. The throat is white with black streaks, and the stomach and under tail coverts are white.

The American robin has a brown back and a reddish-orange breast, various from a wealthy red maroon to peachy orange. The bill is principally yellow with a variably darkish tip, the dusky space turning into more intensive in winter, and the legs and feet are brown.

The sexes are comparable, however, the feminine tends to be duller than the male, with a brown tint to the top, brown upperparts, and less-bright underparts.

However, some birds can’t be precisely sexed on the only real foundation of plumage. The juvenile is paler in coloration than the grownup male and has darkish spots on its breast and whitish wing coverts.

First-year birds should not simply distinguishable from adults, however, they are typically duller, and a small proportion retains just a few juvenile wing coverts or different feathers.

American Robin Diet

The American robin’s eating regimen usually consists of around 40 p.c small invertebrates (primarily bugs), resembling earthworms, beetle grubs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, and 60 p.c wild and cultivated fruits and berries.

Their skill to modify to berries permits them to winter a lot farther north than most different North American thrushes.

They will flock to fermented Pyracantha berries, and after consuming adequate portions will exhibit intoxicated conduct, resembling falling over whereas strolling.

Robins forage totally on the bottom for soft-bodied invertebrates, and discover worms by sight (and typically by listening to), pouncing on them after which pulling them up. Nestlings are fed primarily on earthworms and different soft-bodied animal prey.

In some areas, robins, notably of the northwestern subspecies (T. m. caurinus), will feed on seashores, taking bugs and small mollusks.

The American robin makes use of auditory, visible, olfactory, and presumably vibrotactile cues to seek out prey, however imaginative and prescient is the predominant mode of prey detection.

It is incessantly seen operating throughout lawns selecting up earthworms, and it is operating and stopping conduct is a distinguishing attribute. In addition to searching visually, it additionally has the flexibility to hunt by listening.

Experiments have found that it may discover earthworms underground by merely utilizing its listening expertise.

It sometimes will take a number of quick hops after which cock its head left, right, or ahead to detect the motion of its prey. In city areas, robins will collect in numbers quickly after lawns are mowed or the place sprinklers are in use.

They are additionally drawn to freshly turned earth in gardens, the place earthworms and grubs are plentiful targets. Occasionally, they might go to bird feeders if mealworms or animal-fat suet is obtainable.

American Robin Distribution and habitat

This bird breeds all through most of North America, from Alaska and Canada southward to northern Florida and Mexico. While robins often overwinter within the northern part of the United States and southern Canada, most migrate to winter south of Canada from Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico, in addition to alongside the Pacific Coast.

Most depart south by the tip of August and start to return north in February and March (actual dates differ with latitude and local weather).

The distance by which robins migrate varies considerably relying on their preliminary habitat; research discovered that particular person robins tagged in Alaska are recognized to journey as a lot as 3.5x additional throughout seasons than robins tagged in Massachusetts.

This species is definitely a rare vagrant to western Europe, the place nearly all of the information, more than 20, have been in Great Britain.

In the autumn of 2003, migration was displaced eastwards resulting in huge actions by the eastern U.S., and presumably, that is what led to no fewer than three American robins being present in Great Britain, with two trying to overwinter in 2003–2004, though one was taken by a Eurasian sparrowhawk.

American Robin

A sighting occurred in Great Britain in January 2007. This species has additionally occurred as a vagrant to Greenland, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and Belize.

Vagrants to Europe, which had been recognized as subspecies, are the eastern subspecies (T. m. migratorius), however, the Greenland birds additionally included the Newfoundland subspecies (T. m. nigrideus), and a few of the southern overshoots could have been the southern subspecies (T. m. achrusterus).

The American robin’s breeding habitat is woodland and more open farmland and concrete areas. It turns into much less widespread as a breeder within the southernmost part of the Deep South of the United States, and there prefer giant shade bushes on lawns. Its winter habitat is analogous however contains more open areas.

American Robin Song

The male American robin, as with many thrushes, has a fancy and nearly steady track. Its track is often described as a cheerily carol, made up of discrete items, typically repeated, and spliced collectively right into a string with transient pauses in between. The track varies regionally, and its model varies by the point of the day.

The track interval is from late February or early March to late July or early August; some birds, notably within the east, sing often into September or later.

The American robin is usually among the many first songbirds singing as daybreak rises or hours before, and final as night units in. It often sings from an excessive perch in a tree.

The track of the San Lucas subspecies (T. m. confinis) is weaker than that of the eastern subspecies (T. m. migratorius), and lacks any clear notes.

The American robin additionally sings when storms strategy and once more when storms have handed.

In addition to its track, the American robin has a variety of calls used for speaking particular information, resembling when a floor predator approaches and when a nest or one other American robin is being straight threatened.

Even throughout the nesting season, when American robins exhibit largely competitive and territorial conduct, they might nonetheless band collectively to drive away a predator.

Communication and Perception

Soon after hatching nestlings start to beg for meals by chirping. Adult American robins use chirping or chucking to warn of the presence of a predator. Males start to sing within the late winter and early spring.

This track is a well-known sound within the springtime and sounds one thing like ‘cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up.’

American robins sing incessantly all through the day, however notably early within the morning. They most frequently sing from a perching spot excessive in a tree.


The American robin has an intensive range, estimated at 16,000,000 km2 (6,200,000 sq mi), and big inhabitants of about 320 million people.

The species is just not believed to strategy the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations), and is subsequently evaluated as least concern.

At one level, the bird was killed for its meat, however, it’s now protected all through its range within the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Birds in central California of the western subspecies (T. m. propinquus) are thought of to be nonetheless rising their range, and that is most likely the case elsewhere within the U.S. as nicely.

American Robin Behavior

The American robin is lively largely throughout the day, and on its winter grounds, it assembles in giant flocks at night to roost in bushes in secluded swamps or dense vegetation.

The flocks break up throughout the day when the birds feed on fruits and berries in smaller teams. During the summer season, the American robin defends a breeding territory and is much less social.


Juvenile American robins and eggs are preyed upon by squirrels, snakes, and a few birds, resembling blue jays, California scrub jays, Steller’s jays, widespread grackles, American crows, and customary ravens.

Adults are primarily taken by Accipiter hawks, cats, and bigger snakes (particularly rat snakes and gopher snakes). Mammals resembling foxes and canines are primarily prone to seize fledgling younger robins from the bottom, whereas raccoons typically prey upon nests and small carnivores resembling American martens, ring-tailed cats, and long-tailed weasels are agile sufficient to hunt adults.

However, the best predatory influence (maybe alongside home cats) might be from raptorial birds. They could also be taken by almost every number of North American accipitrid, from the smallest, the sharp-shinned hawk, to one of many two largest, the golden eagle, nearly each North American falcon from the smallest, the American kestrel, to the most important, the gyrfalcon, and nearly all owl species from the northern pygmy owl to the snowy owl.

Overall, 28 raptorial bird species are recognized to hunt American robins. Adult robins are most susceptible when distracted by breeding actions, although they might even be attacked on the bottom and even in flight. However, when feeding in flocks, the American robin is ready to stay vigilant and watch different flock members for reactions to predators.

American Robin Eggs

Usually 4, typically 3-7. Pale blue or “robin’s-egg blue.” Incubation by the feminine, 12-14 days. Young: Both dad and mom feed younger, although the feminine does more.

Parents very aggressive in the protection of the nest. Young depart the nest about 14-16 days after hatching. Male could have a tendency the fledged younger whereas feminine begins second nesting try. 2 broods per season, typically 3.


Both dad and mom feed younger, although the feminine does more. Parents very aggressive in the protection of the nest. Young depart the nest about 14-16 days after hatching.

Male could have a tendency the fledged younger whereas feminine begins second nesting try. 2 broods per season, typically 3.

American Robin Nesting

Males arrive before females on nesting grounds and defend territories by singing, typically by preventing. In the early phases of courtship, females could also be actively pursued by one or a number of males.

Nest: Female does many of the nest constructing with some assistance from the male. The website on a horizontal department of tree or shrub, often 5-25′ above ground, not often on the bottom or as much as 70′ excessive; additionally nests on ledges of homes, barns, bridges. The nest is a cup of grasses, twigs, particles, labored right into a stable basis of mud, lined with high-quality grasses and plant fibers.

American Robin Breeding

The American robin begins to breed shortly after returning to its summer season range. It is among the first North American bird species to put eggs, and usually has two to a few broods per breeding season, which lasts from April to July.

The nest is mostly positioned 1.5–4.5 m (4.9–14.eight ft) above the bottom in a dense bush or in a fork between two tree branches and is constructed by the feminine alone. The outer basis consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers.

This is lined with smeared mud and cushioned with high-quality grass or different gentle supplies. A brand new nest is constructed for every brood, and in northern areas, the first clutch is often positioned in an evergreen tree or shrub, whereas later broods are positioned in deciduous bushes.

The American robin doesn’t shrink back from nesting near human habitations and can incessantly assemble nests below eaves or awnings on human houses when such areas present satisfactory shelter.

American robins should not cavity nesters, and so will usually not use a birdhouse, however will benefit from artificial nesting platforms.

A clutch consists of three to 5 light blue eggs and is incubated by the feminine alone. The eggs hatch after 14 days and the chicks depart the nest an additional two weeks later.

Other Recommended Reading

The altricial chicks are bare and have their eyes closed for the first few days after hatching. While the chicks are nonetheless younger, the mom broods them repeatedly.

When they’re older, the mom will brood them solely at night or throughout an unhealthy climate.

The chicks are fed earthworms, bugs, and berries. Waste accumulation doesn’t happen within the nest as a result of the adults acquire and take it away.

Chicks are fed, after which increase tails for the elimination of waste, a stable white clump that’s collected by a parent previous to flying off.

All chicks within the brood depart the nest within two days of one another. Even after leaving the nest, the juveniles will comply with their dad and mom round and beg for meals from them. Learn more about the horned puffin.

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